EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Pfizer says its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and 100% effective in preventing the illness in teenagers ages 12 to 15.
We’re told this could mark a step toward possibly beginning shots in this age group before fall. Pfizer has already been cleared for emergency use in people ages 16 and up.
Vaccines opened up to 16-year-olds today in Indiana.
“We’re very excited that 16 and up are eligible for the vaccine and if that age level continues to drop, certainly we’ll follow that and we’ll promote that any time there’s changes,” said Jason Woebkenberg, the Chief Communication Officer at EVSC.
A 14 News Facebook poll shows parents are split between whether or not their child will receive a vaccine.
“We also decided that we wouldn’t let out grandchildren, the ones we raised, we wouldn’t let them get the shot, especially the 13-year-old girl,” said Dawn Moskos, a Tri-State resident. “Because just my own personal opinion, I don’t feel like the vaccine, it was developed too soon and I don’t think there’s a lot known about it.”
In a study of more than 2,000 US volunteers ages 12 to 15, preliminary data showed there were no cases of COVID-19 among fully vaccinated adolescents compared to 18 among those given dummy shots.
Side effects generally mirrored those in adults, such as a sore arm, fatigue and headache.
Evansville Vanderburgh County Schools shared their thoughts on the news.
“The number of individuals that are now having the possibility to get vaccinated including going down to students that are 16 years and older. We’ve said since the vaccines started coming out that just knowing that people could have that extra level of protection, certainly makes us feel good,” said Woebkenberg.
The company plans to request emergency use authorization for 12 to 15 years old in the coming weeks. We’re told vaccinating children of all ages will be critical to stopping the pandemic.
Pfizer is also studying how well the vaccine works in children ages 6 months to 11 years old. The first doses in that trial were administered last week.